When Current Events Meets Dancehall: How important is the name of a riddim?
The Ebola epidemic is the largest in history, claiming numerous lives since 1976. Just recently, two Americans died from the deadly virus, upon returning from Africa. Health care workers returning to the US from altruistic service in Africa, with viral symptoms have been quarantined in isolation. Luckily, many received treatment which proved life saving, however, Africans continue to die in alarming numbers from the deadly virus. Since its release in November 2014, the “Ebola” riddim has become a topic of controversy in dancehall. The infectious riddim by renowned producer, Andrew “Anju Blax” Myrie of UIM records, features a dozen top-rated dancehall artists. In the riddim cover art, a micrograph of an Ebola virion appears superimposed over an animated image of Anju Blax with supinated palms. Many on social media believe the riddim should be quarantined because of the “insensitivity,” in regards to its naming. Opposers refute this argument, stating that social commentary in dancehall is a norm, What’s in a name? While the jury is still out on this complex issue, we present six songs featured on the Ebola riddim, because from a musical stand point, the riddim itself is well produced. Audio After The Jump…
1) Leave it to Agent Sasco, to attack this riddim with an energetic vocal performance. He detects the antigens/bad man imposters: “ Nuff ah dem ah poise and ah post like big bad man, dem bad pon twitter and instagram”…Run that!
2) Shawn Storm (Sivva), expresses lyrically why he does not want any biohazards in his home.
3) Tommy Lee Sparta delivers a Lieutenant Stitchie-like intro/interlude, a high-pitched chorus, and catchy, explicit lyrics.
4) I–Octane lets us know, with his signature voice, why he is “blessed like the sands of the sea.”
5) Unpredictable like different strains of Influenza, Mavado keeps it Gully, flowing about another virus over the Ebola Riddim.
6) In this Galis tune, Tony Matterhorn delivers animated vocals with a clear enunciation over the Ebola riddim.